Kim Philby

61

Kim Philby : biography

1 January 1912 – 11 May 1988

Philby’s role might have compromised his position. However, Volkov’s defection had been discussed with the British Embassy in Ankara on telephones tapped by Soviet intelligence. Volkov had insisted that all written communications about him take place by diplomatic bag rather than by telegraph, causing a delay in reaction that might plausibly have given the Soviets time to uncover his plans. Philby was thus able to evade blame and detection.Seale and McConnville, 180–181 A month later Igor Gouzenko, a cipher clerk in Ottawa, took political asylum in Canada and gave the Royal Canadian Mounted Police many agent names; Philby could do nothing about this.

Istanbul

In February 1947, Philby was appointed head of British intelligence for Turkey, and posted to Istanbul with his second wife, Aileen, and their family. His public position was that of First Secretary at the British Consulate; in reality, his intelligence work required overseeing British agents and working with the Turkish security services.Seale and McConnville, 187

Philby planned to infiltrate five or six groups of émigrés into Soviet Armenia or Soviet Georgia. But efforts amongst the expatriate community in Paris produced just two recruits. Turkish intelligence took them to a border crossing into Georgia but soon afterwards shots were heard. Another effort was made using a Turkish Gulet for a seaborne landing, but it never left port. He was implicated in a similar campaign in Albania. Colonel David Smiley, an aristocratic Guards officer who had helped Enver Hoxha and his Communist guerillas to liberate Albania, now prepared to liberate it from Hoxha. He trained Albanian commandos – some of whom were former Nazi collaborators – in Libya or Malta. From 1947, they infliltrated the southern mountains to build support for former King Zog.

The first three missions, overland from Greece, were trouble-free. Larger numbers were landed by sea and air under Operation Valuable, which continued until 1951, increasingly under the influence of the newly formed CIA. Stewart Menzies, head of SIS, disliked the idea, which was promoted by former SOE men now in SIS. Most infiltrators were caught by the Sigurimi, the Albanian Security Service.David Smiley, "Albanian Assignment", foreword by Patrick Leigh Fermor – Chatto & Windus – London – 1984 (ISBN 978-0-7011-2869-2) Clearly there had been leaks, and Philby was later suspected as one of the leakers. His own comment was "I do not say that people were happy under the regime but the CIA underestimated the degree of control that the Authorities had over the country."

Aileen Philby (née Furse) had suffered since childhood from psychological problems which caused her to inflict injuries upon herself. In 1948, troubled by the heavy drinking and frequent depressions that had become a feature of her husband’s life in Istanbul, she experienced a breakdown of this nature, staging an accident and injecting herself with urine and insulin to cause skin disfigurations.Boyle, 344 She was sent to a clinic in Switzerland to recover. Upon her return to Istanbul in late 1948, she was badly burned in an incident with a charcoal stove, and returned to Switzerland. Shortly afterward, Philby was moved to the job as chief SIS representative in Washington, D.C., with his family.

Washington, D.C.

In September 1949, the Philbys arrived in the United States. Officially, his post was that of First Secretary to the British Embassy; in reality, he served as chief British intelligence representative in Washington. His office oversaw a large amount of urgent and top-secret communications between the United States and London. Philby was also responsible for liaising with the CIA and promoting "more aggressive Anglo-American intelligence operations."Seale and McConnville, 201 A leading figure within the CIA was Philby’s wary former colleague, James Jesus Angleton, with whom he once again found himself working closely. Angleton remained suspicious of Philby, but lunched with him every week in Washington. Teddy Kollek, an Austrian Jew, former agent of Mossad and mayor of Jerusalem, recognised him from their prewar Vienna days, saw them together and assumed that Angleton had "turned" Philby into a triple agent."A Cold War Mystery: Was the Soviet Mole Kim Philby a Double Agent … or a Triple Agent?". indiebound.org. Retrieved 20 June 2011